Well, hasn’t that flown?
I’d be lying if I said I still didn’t feel a bit sad that the relationship I came here for didn’t work out. Or rather, I guess the thought (or hope) of the relationship. I’d got to the point I was just about ready for, you know, one of those relationship-thingys, and it was quite a romantic, unusual circumstance, which made a good story – and we all love a good story, right?
I’m not one to be seduced by fairytales or happy endings, but oh, the potential and the anticipation it had. Everyone was rooting for it. Except perhaps, him.
A relationship full of adventure, the outdoors, mountains, beaches and chill is what I dream of. I’m happy being single, but if I’m going to have a romance, I want a rugged outdoorsy adventure one please, and that one ticked a few of those boxes. But, alas, it wasn’t to be.
But, that’s only a small part of the last two years. Once that was over, my life in New Zealand felt like it actually started. I’ve been here much longer by myself now than we were together.
Being free of a partner meant I could put 100% into starting a life here on my own terms – something I know how to do. I did in Cheltenham, and I’m doing it again here. In Chelts, I was there 3 years, and the way I see it is this:
Year 1: get out there and do EVERYTHING. Like you’re never going to be there again. Speak to the people, go to the events, sign up for the stuff, see the things.
Year 2: figure out who the people are you want to be friends with. Spend time cultivating the friendships. Have some time at home because you realise you’re bloody knackered. Still do new things but not as much.
Year 3: relax into the friendships. Realise you have people you can rely on. Start dropping into people’s houses. Do stuff away from where you live. Do things where you live multiple times and enjoy each experience. Enjoy the familiar feeling of places and people.
My third summer here in Christchurch is starting, and I guess I’m now onto Year 3 activities. I’ve made a conscious effort to live more of a chilled life in NZ, to not have a million things on the go and to build more downtime into my weeks.
I have some ace friendships that I’m wanting to put time and effort into. Summer is coming and all the things I saw in my first year that I thought “it’d be real cool to have a bunch of pals to do xyz with” I can now go and do, with said bunch of pals. Camping, paddling, tramping, biking, beach beer drinking, music in the park, city brunches, ALL OF IT.
I still love my job and the people I work with and I’m really enjoying my writing side projects. It all keeps my brain ticking over. There’s never quite enough time mind you, but such is life.
When I came to New Zealand I had no idea how long it would be for, or how it would pan out. I was prepared for it being forever, or for just a short while. I just wanted to go with the flow and see how I got on. I still don’t know how long it’ll be for, because who knows where life takes us.
Pieces of my heart belong in a few countries, and New Zealand’s one of them. Moving here was a spur of the moment decision, but I’ve got no intentions of going anywhere else anytime soon.
Maybe just send a kind outdoorsy cowboy my way now too 😉